Update: Indications Kirkpatrick back in a month

Posted Jul 24, 2012

Dre Kirkpatrick

Updated: 9 a.m.

Hashtag this is why you sign six first-round cornerbacks.

The Bengals apparently examined Bengals current first-rounder Dre Kirkpatrick two weeks ago and have deemed his leg injury not serious enough to make an announcement until the club does its physicals Thursday. Indications are he'll be out a month at most and they don't expect any long-term impact. 

Kirkpatrick confirmed he had some type of injury via Twitter as Tuesday night became Wednesday morning in the wake of a CBS Sports report he hurt his leg and is going to miss most or all of training camp.

When reached by phone, Kirkpatrick said he wasn't going to talk about it until he got to training camp, where players undergo physicals Thursday in preparation for Friday's first workout at 3 p.m. on the Paul Brown Stadium practice fields.

Kirkpatrick's tweet indicated he won't miss the entire season:

"I'm sorry about my injury and im going to try my best to get back and help the team to get to a Super Bowl and once again I'm sorry #WhoDey."

The CBS report said Kirkpatrick is "telling associates" that he suffered a leg injury and cited a league source that said there could be a small broken bone.

Beyond Kirkpatrick confirming the injury on Twitter, the only thing clear Wednesday morning is the Bengals corner depth continues to get tested. It's believed that even though they missed all or most of the spring camps, Nate Clements (abdominal pull) and Adam Jones (hamstring) are expected to be able to go once camp gets underway. Leon Hall's goal coming back from his torn Achilles has always been to take Friday's first snap and while defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer said Hall has yet to be cleared, he expects to see him early in camp. By all accounts, Hall has had a rapid recovery that is expected to get him in pads soon, if not Friday.

That leaves two other former first-round corners healthy and ready to go and those are the two the Bengals added during free agency in Terence Newman and Jason Allen. When Kirkpatrick went down early in the May OTAs with a lower body muscle pull, it was evident the Bengals weren't going to have to rush him. When he struggled early making the transition to off coverage, there was even some theorizing they could deactivate him in the first few games as he got his feet wet.

With Kirkpatrick to miss about a month, the Bengals are going to have to make him inactive for the first few games while carrying him on the 53-man roster. That would raise the distinct possibility of needing to keep seven cornerbacks and 11 DBs while carrying one fewer defensive lineman. All eyes would then be on Brandon Ghee, the 2010 third-rounder off a great spring. Fifth-rounder Shaun Prater, out of Iowa, is highly regarded but still looks to be a longshot for the 53 if Ghee continues to come on.

Head coach Marvin Lewis doesn't usually release information on injuries until after the physicals, if then, but there is expected to be some kind of an announcement on Kirkpatrick Thursday.




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